Saturday, September 23, 2017

Top 3 Types of Romantic Relationships (Laurie)

Did you even need my name in the title to know who was writing this post? :) I of course write fantasy and this blog is about fantasy, but I just can't seem to help it - I get so excited about romance! In fact, in the past few months I did a guest post called Romance in Fantasy on Emilie Hendryx's blog and a Girls Who Write video focused on romance, in case you don't believe me :) So please bear with me today as I indulge my inner romantic and talk a little bit about my favorite types of romances.

In this case I'm not talking genre, I'm talking more about how the characters know each other, interact, and fall in love. I found this great list of 25 Types of Romantic Relationships on the AbsoluteWrite forums in case you're interested in exploring the subject further.

So, using that list as a starting point, here are my top 3 types of romantic relationships:

3. Lovers in Denial

These are relationships where the characters already have an established relationship and typically get along well, often in a partnership or work type of setting, but for some reason have trouble admitting to themselves and each other that their feelings go deeper than friendship. What I love about these couples is I end up rooting so hard for them! Their relationships tend to progress as a slow burn, with lots of fun flirtation and close calls where the relationship almost takes a romantic turn, but something always gets in the way. I can definitely get frustrated and impatient with these couples as they take their sweet time revealing their feelings to each other, but in the end it makes that happy sigh all the happier when they finally get their acts together :)

My very favorite "Lovers in Denial" couple is Darby and Mark from Liberty Speidel's Darby Shaw Chronicles. So frustrating and sweet and everything in between! Brenna and Baldwin from our own J.M. Hackman's Spark and El and Ky from Sara Ella's Unblemished both have a bit of this dynamic as well, and I love it!

2. Love - Hate Relationships

I'm not sure I'd want to experience this one in real life, but they're so fun to read about! Two strong-willed characters get off on the wrong foot, and then circumstances force them to spend more time together until they start to see each other's good qualities. I love these stories because they have so much great tension and witty banter. They also tend to be potent illustrations of how wrong first impressions can be, and the characters learn so much about themselves in the process of overcoming their pride enough to admit they were wrong. Plus, when that initial dislike finally transforms into love, it can produce some pretty swoon-worthy romance!

My first full-length manuscript featured a love-hate kind of relationship, and I'm very much looking forward to revisiting those characters when I re-write it someday! Other love-hate favorites are Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Han Solo and Princess Leia from the original Star Wars movies, Audrey and Logan from Julie Hall's Life After series, and Ember and Rain from Sara Baysinger's Black Tiger series.

1. Best Friends / Friends First / Childhood Friends

I'm probably biased since this is how my real-life romance worked out, but I just love stories where the characters start out as friends first. There's a beautiful innocence, trust, and respect that these relationships are built on that I find really appealing. It's easy to believe these relationships will last, because the characters already know they enjoy spending time with each other in a non-romantic way. And it's so fun to see them develop! I love it when they reach that turning point moment for one or both characters when they start viewing the friend in a different way. Then comes that sweet, awkward transition where they attempt to make the confession or take that next step in their relationship, fearing it might ruin the great rapport they already have going. All of which makes the conclusion that much more satisfying :)

Jane Austen also wrote one of my all-time favorite friends-first couples - Emma and Mr. Knightley from Emma, but the couple in my upcoming novel, Common, also starts out with a childhood friendship (same with the couple in the short story I'm working on right now - I'm sensing a pattern...), and I love Emily and Teddy from L.M. Montgomery's Emily series and Clara and O'Neill from The Mermaid's Sister by Carrie Anne Noble.


How about you? What are your favorite types of romantic relationships in books, TV shows, or movies? Do they mirror what you would want in real life, or are they opposite?

Thanks for reading!


  1. I have no problem with you talking about romance, Laurie. It's one of my favorite topics too. :) Those types of romances all make for great stories.

    1. Ha, thanks Lizzie! I knew I could count on you to support my enthusiasm for romance :)

  2. Fun post, Laurie! I always love the love-hate relationship where they start off on the wrong foot but then end up having to spend time together and fall in love. Lots of old classic movies use that formula and it's always so much fun watching the banter between the two leads. -Julie K

    1. Thanks, Julie! You're right, there are definitely a lot of classic movies that used the love-hate relationship - and it obviously hasn't gotten old yet! :)


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